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You are here: Home --> Forum Home --> Rules-based RPGs --> Dungeons and Dragons --> Kingmaker Adventure Path 2.0
Related thread: Kingmaker Q&A
GM for this game: Sibelius Eos Owm
Players for this game: Reralae, Okron, Shades331, Nyrodine Ezayo, Zeakol
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Shades331
RDI Fixture
Karma: 22/5
513 Posts


Meal for aid

Wresting the limp body from the river, Frodrick put his axe away and kept his shield at the ready. He drug the limp body to the shore and tossed it onto the ground by the hair/mane.

The old dwarf looked around with a scowl and called out. "Wisp of the wood. I have a bargain for ye, and I think it is one of mutual benefit. I assume ye can hear me out since yer meal is here."

As the ball of light floated over, Frodrick Continued.
"We will be heading out to the bandit fort in the next little while, and we could use a way in and/or a distraction while in the midst of combat. I don't know what in the nine hells it is you eat, but considering you like your meals dying, I figured this would be an offer of mutual benefit. You survey their hideout and get us in, and we do the killin'."


Posted on 2014-07-17 at 02:06:54.
Edited on 2014-07-20 at 15:20:05 by Shades331

Zeakol
Resident
Karma: 1/0
225 Posts


Chance to use this!

Zeran took the opportunity after the combat was over and rushed to the bleeding bandit's side. "Well you know what, f**k it." He pointed his gun up and fired straight into the air, angling it a bit so the bullet wouldn't plummet straight down and kill someone. Taking the still hot barrel he pushed it against the open wound on the bandit and forced the wound close, it would leave a scar but it would be better then bleeding to death. "Kyrie you're a better hand at mending people then I am, check her over and see if she is going to live. Bleeding should have stopped enough by now." He said giving a grimace to his grim first aid.


Posted on 2014-07-19 at 06:16:54.

Sibelius Eos Owm
A Midsummer Knight
Karma: 59/5
1376 Posts


A win and a loss.

10 Erastus
River Fork; Hex F5
Thorn River

Frodrick threw his shield arm over the drifting corpse. He dragged the horse monster to shore and part way up the bank while Kyrie and Miguel worked together to tie up the new hostage. Kyrie laid hands on the woman's temple, where the worst of the damage was concentrated.

“Honestly, I wouldn't do that if I were you,” the wisp warned. “It's much quieter like this.” The glowing purple orb seemed nonchalant about the theft of its previous meal, evidently satisfied with the new meal presented to it.

True to the wisp's estimate, the moment the healing touch had worked its magic (+13hp Bandit) and the bandit's eyes slowly opened, her mouth also opened. “Let me go you blasted poxy scuts!”

She wrenched away from her captors, but quickly found herself hardly able to move under Kyire's diligent ropework. “Untie me or I'll take my knife and shove it so far up your arse you'll piss blood! I will not be taken prisoner!”

Frodrick took a couple steps away from the anrgy captive. He would deal with her later, for now he had more pressing matters. “Wisp of the wood. I have a bargain for ye, and I think it is one of mutual benefit. I assume ye can hear me out since yer meal is here.”

“We will be heading out to the bandit camp in the next little while, and we could use a way in and/or a distraction while in the midst of combat. I don't know what in the nine hells it is you eat, but considering you like your meals dying, I figured this would be an offer of mutual benefit. You survey their hideout and get us in, and we do the killin'.”

“Mmm, a bandit camp you say?”

Frodrick nodded.

“Near here, presumably headed by a humanling that wears antlers like a stag?”

Frodrick agreed it was so.

“A humanling who hides out in its adorable little fort? Procclaims dominion over this land with an army of thieves and cutthroats scooting about all higgledy-piggledy?”

Frodrick kept nodding. There was no need to tell the wisp that they only knew half of those things before this conversation.

“Never heard of it. Never have, never will.” The wisp's tone suddenly turned aloof, raising half a foot in a gesture that held the distinct impression of turning its nose up at the dwarf.

Frodrick glanced to Giles, silently asking if his crass nature had offended in some way he wasn't aware.

“What do you take me for?” the wisp asked, “I'm weird, not a bloody pervert!”

Frodrick could not understand where he had gone wrong, but Giles was beginning to get an idea what was happening. He knew that sometimes wisps would show up in cities and hang around gallows or other places they could feast of the fear of the dying, but scholars debated why the majority preferred to stick to remote swampy locales.

“Good day to you, sirs.” The wisp's light blinked out. It was impossible for either soldier to discern its transparent globe-like body in the receding twilight, but after a moment (between the bandit woman's protests), the dwarf could still hear a faint, distinctly pleased humming noise of the wisp still 'feeding' off the river monster.

Frodrick 34/34 –
Jargon 19/19 – Defend: Miguel
Giles 29/29 – Divine Favour (6-9/10), 19 bolts
Kyrie 34/34 –
Miguel 16/25 – Dancing Lights (6-9/10), Grease (3-6/30), 19 arrows
Zeran 27/27 – 28 bullets, -2G
Stefan 11/11 – 17 arrows
Uriel 13/13 – Neigh

Water-Horse-Monster-Thing: Dying on Shore

Bandit: Battered, Conscious, 19 arrows
Will-o-Wisp: Uninjured

(You may by all means continue to attempt to speak with the wisp, either last minute protests before it disappears or later when you realise it's actually still in the area, but short of something dramatic, it is unlikely to respond, much less reappear. Nevertheless, you now know with a reasonable degree of certainty the manner (fort) and the location (lake) of the Stag Lord's base of operations.)

(In other news, I am someday going to need a name for the wisp just in case, and frankly this thing is out of my control by now. I recruit any and all suggestions for the name, even if you only have a vague idea, like 'it should be named something ridiculously British sounding', like Bob Poppelwell, or something nigh unpronouncable by human tongues with too many 'x's and phonetically approximates to something crude sounding.)


Posted on 2014-07-22 at 21:36:09.

Zeakol
Resident
Karma: 1/0
225 Posts


Bandit Noise and Fancy Wisp.

Zeran was crouched down near the tied up bandit mostly ignoring her as he watched Froderick drag the monster they had just bested onto the shore to try and bargain with the wisp.

“Untie me or I'll take my knife and shove it so far up your arse you'll piss blood! I will not be taken prisoner!”
He cast a glance towards the woman and leaned in a bit making a 'psst' noise to her as he held up a knife he had pulled off her body. [Sleight of Hand roll: 23 [[14+9]] If required.]

"If you mean this knife lass I don't think you'll be sticking it anywhere anytime soon, and as it stands you already are prisoner and as soon as you realize that and that we saved your sorry ass you'll be in a much better position."

He turned facing her fully know and stabbed the knife he had taken from her into the ground hilt deep out of reach of her and near enough he could snatch it up if need be. He cleared his throat and narrowed his eyes fixing them on her.

"Now I suggest you shut up and stop making so much noise before we reopen your wounds and leave you here to die alone and a snack for our wisp buddy over there." He thumbed over his shoulder at the dwarf nodding to the speaking wisp knowing it wouldn't disappear to far if it was eating, that was for certain. [Intimidate roll: 31[[20+11]] [Purpose of roll: To get her to shut up for the moment until we can all group around and someone with better social skills other then 'bluff and intimidate' to get information from her, though Zeran is more then happy to step in for such things to [[He has a bonus to those when dealing with bandits as well]]]


Posted on 2014-07-23 at 09:52:03.

Reralae
Dreamer of Bladesong
Karma: 135/12
2317 Posts


Good evening to you too

Kyrie knelt beside the woman and smiled. "Good evening. Or maybe it's morning. Hard to tell when the sun isn't around." She said, completely nonchalant about her outburst.

"Now I get that you just woke up and are grumpy, but I think you might want to calm down a bit." Kyrie suggested, before she looked thoughtful, "I'm personally not about to follow through with what Zeran suggested, but if the others put it to a vote, I can and will use my shovel to knock you out, again."

"Oh, I'm Kyrie by the way." She smiled again.


Posted on 2014-07-29 at 18:27:01.

Sibelius Eos Owm
A Midsummer Knight
Karma: 59/5
1376 Posts


Dealing with the uncooperative.

10 Erastus
River Fork; Hex F5
Thorn River

The bandit woman, seemingly more out of offense than being cowed, shut her mouth. She glared at Zeran balefully for a moment while Frodrick dealt with the wisp. Kyrie came over, but the paladin only earned a share of the glare reserved for Zeran for her efforts.

The moment she had the full party for her audience again, she began to shout unimaginative curses at her captors. “I am nobody's prisoner. You have no right to hold me! Untie me now, you ugly trollop! There'll be hell to pay if you don't!”

Frodrick did not pause to respond to her invectives. He found Jargon's saddle and made quick work strapping it on. “I'm goin' after the runaway. I'll need a torch for Jargon to see. We'll be gone a few hours at least.”

“I have another idea, actually,” Miguel said. He took Frodrick's compass and sang a spell to make it glow like a torch. “I'll have to recast that in half an hour, so I'm coming with you.”

“Let's get going then,” said Giles. “I can help you track if the trail goes cold.”

The three left, two on foot and Frodrick on his horse. The bandit woman was just about speechless at being ignored to bluntly. “You flea-bitten oafs deaf as well as ugly? I said let me go! These are the Stag Lord's lands! His word is law around here! I hope he kills every one of you and sticks your heads up on—”

Kyrie knelt beside the woman and smiled. "Good evening. Or maybe it's morning. Hard to tell when the sun isn't around." She said, completely nonchalant about her outburst.

"Now I get that you just woke up and are grumpy, but I think you might want to calm down a bit." Kyrie suggested, before she looked thoughtful, "I'm personally not about to follow through with what Zeran suggested, but if the others put it to a vote, I can and will use my shovel to knock you out, again."

“You might as well kill me if you're not going to let me go.”

Kyrie smiled. “I'm Kyrie, by the way.”

The wind went out of the bandit woman's sails. She allowed herself to be lead back to the camp where the fire was still out. Stefan set about starting up a new one while Zeran went back out to the riverside in the darkness to make one last plea with the wisp and to thank it for its warning.

(The Hunt)
The tracks led north along the river bank for some time. The blind bandit in the dark did little to throw any pursuers off his tracks. After several minutes Frodrick spotted evidence of where the man had lit a torch to see by.

The man's tracks picked up speed after that, but he would have to rest soon, like anyone else. The group pressed on for more than an hour, forcing themselves to continue despite the growing fatigue (-6sub Miguel, -5sub Giles, -3dmg Jargon Fatigued). Miguel quickly cast the spell he'd been saving for after the fatigue set in (+9hp, +6sub Miguel, 25/25).

Frodrick 34/34 –
Jargon 16/19 – Mount, Fatigued
Giles 29(5)/29 – Fatigued, 19 bolts
Miguel 25/25 – Light (30min/cast), 19 arrows

After another ten or fifteen minutes following the trail, an arrow sprouted from Frodrick's shoulder, just above his heart. The enchanted mail stopped all but the very tip of the very lucky shot (-1dmg Frodrick), but caught him by surprise well enough.

In the meagre starlight the party could barely make out the outline of the tree along the bank where the arrow had seemingly come from. It made sense—a good defensive position from which to see pursuers for a good distance. Because of their light, they were brightly lit up targets, where they couldn't yet see their attacker.

Giles didn't bother to wait. He advanced until the tree was close enough that he could clearly see it despite the darkness, their quarry dangling from a branch mid way up the tree. The soldier returned fire (-4dmg Bandit).

At once Miguel threw his illumination spell up, causing four stars of light to appear with the bandit in the tree, revealing him to all. Miguel and Frodrick moved in. The man saw the predicament he was in, loosing one more shot (-2dmg Giles) before he gave up his position and started to flee.

He had barely started to descend when Giles' next shot took him in the arm (-6dmg Bandit). He lost his grip and fell backwards out of the tree without a cry, punctuated only with the heavy 'thump' as he hit the ground (-3dmg Bandit Prone).

When they arrived at the body he was already dead, the fall finishing off what little remained.

Frodrick 34/34 –
Jargon 16/19 – Mount, Fatigued
Giles 27(5)/29 – Fatigued, 17 bolts
Miguel 25/25 – Light (30min/cast), 19 arrows

Bandit: Dead

The walk back was no jaunt in the park, and by the time they returned, the lot were thoroughly worn from travel (-1sub Giles, -6sub Miguel, -5dmg Jargon).

Miguel readily used the rest of his magic for the day to heal Jargon, who had taken the worst of the strain (+6hp, +2hp Jargon), restoring her to vigour.


Frodrick 34/34 –
Jargon 19/19 –
Giles 27(6)/29 – Fatigued, 17 bolts
Kyrie 34/34 –
Miguel 25(6)/25 – Fatigued, 19 arrows
Zeran 27/27 – 28 bullets, -2G
Stefan 11/11 – 17 arrows
Uriel 13/13 – Neigh

Bandit Captive: Not sleepy

(Hehe, when it came to rolling to endure the forced march the rolls were around 5, highest roll was a 7, but in the combat that followed only one roll landed below 16, not counting the confirm on the crit threat that Frodrick took)


Posted on 2014-07-30 at 00:55:55.

Nyrodine Ezayo
Veteran Visitor
Karma: 1/0
109 Posts


post for once

Giles' turn at watch his favorite time. The peace, quiet, and a chance to meditate and prepare himself for the coming day. It was during his watch, just shortly after midnight, when he heard the faint rustling of movement. He cracked his eye slightly so as not to alert whomever it would be.

What he saw didnt suprise him. The bandit woman they had captive was slowly slinking away. She wasnt moving fast, probably in hopes not to alert Giles or any of his sleeping comrads. No doubt she thought he wasn't paying attention and was trying to take advantage of the fact.

With a soft sigh, Giles continued his meditation knowing full well that with his enhanced vision and unimpeeded movement he would easily be able to catch the girl. He waited till she was a bit away from the party before silently getting up and following her, making note to follow in her path to disturb as little new rough as possible.

It was odd that she was headed south when the supposed Stag Fort was to the north. Answers had to be gotten, and who better to do it? A smirk crossed Giles face and once he and followed the girl outside of listening distance of the party, he struck.

Moving in quickly, Giles lept upon the girl, flipping her over to face him. He stradled her to prevent her movement before giving her a swift, firm punch to the face, covering her mouth to prevent her screaming being heard by the group. A look of suprise came over her face.

"Now lass, did you really think you could get away that easy? Tsk, tsk, tsk." Giles wagged a finger with his free hand in disapproval.
"Now tell me where you were going or I'll drag you back to the others and see what they think of your little walk. Be honest, or I'll have to beat you more, and I won't be so nice so nice the second time."

The bandit woman grinned, despite the pain. She seemed almost impressed. "You're more hands-on than your friends, I'll give you that." She shifted slightly under Giles' weight as if to get comfortable. "You're going to have to do better than that, though, if you want anything from me. I ain't been punched that tenderly since the day I was born."

Giles sighed and cracked his knuckles. "You picked the wrong person to try and escape on." He leaned in closer, whispering, "you see, I'm not afraid to make your life a living hell. All it would take is one swift slice and all your body would fall limp. You wouldnt be dead, but you'd never walk, never move, and never feel anything again. Unlike the rest of my party who believe in reform for your kind, as they have with the previous bunch, I'm willing to kill you. If not, your friend would have come back with us. Instead he had his neck snapped when I shot him from a tree. Now your going to tell me why you're headed south, when your the bridge crossing to your lord lies in the north. If I like what I hear, I'll either end your suffering right here, or maybe if you're very good I'll let you go."
(Bluff check prerolled as per GM discretion)

Giles knew he had her at 'let you go'. Everything else from here one was just angling.

"I guess you're not that thick. The Stag Lord would have loved you. All right. The bridge to the north is rotted and old. To the south of here just upriver from where the Thorn and the Shrike meet there is a wide river ford that we use to come and go, now untie me and you'll never see me again. I've gotta run--when the Stag Lord kills you, he won't be happy. I'd better not still be in the area by then."

Giles patted the girl on the cheek.

"Who's to say he still won't," Giles smirked as he started to get up, seeming to leave before turning on the woman again with a hard punch and a crack. She was out like a light once more.
"That is for saying my first one was weak, wretch."

With that Giles stood up and began to drag the girl back to the camp laying her again where she once was removing her cloak and a few other bits from her outfit and studying her face and body more closely before moving to wake the next person for their watch and laying the the items beside himself resuming his relaxed state.

(Ooc GM rolled bluff checks and alike )


Posted on 2014-08-01 at 04:06:47.

Sibelius Eos Owm
A Midsummer Knight
Karma: 59/5
1376 Posts


Book 1 Climax Approaching!

Traveling F5-G5
11 Erastus

The Thorn River grew wide and shallow as it ran into the Shrike. True to Giles' information, just north from where the two rivers met, the river was shallow enough to make a crossing.

From there it was mostly a straight shot south, following the Shrike River to the lake marked on the map as the Tuskwater, the larger of two lakes in the Greenbelt region. The trip across the ford took only most of the day, drastically cutting down on the time it would have taken to backtrack north to a different river crossing.

11 Erastus
Stag Lord's Fort; Hex G5
Tuskwater

There it was at last. The stronghold of the bandit calling himself the Stag Lord. It was nestled within sight of the northern short of the great Tuskwater, exactly where the wisp let slip. The Stag Lord's Fort was surrounded on three sides by the naturally hilly terrain, with the fourth dominated by a narrow footpath of hard-packed earth providing no cover up to the fort's front gate.

The area around the fort was practically devoid of shrubbery for almost 300' in every direction, save for the sparsest of vines, but the large boulders that gave the Kamelands their name dotted the hills on all sides but the front path, large enough to provide cover from the fort.

The palisade surrounding the fort stood 15' high, consisting of logs spaced no further than 6 inches apart. An experienced climber could probably make it over the wall without much difficulty, though the top was furnished with sharpened branches to discourage such tactics that would have to be avoided.

The Greenbelt Charter party positioned their wagon in the hills away from the fort further up the Shrike river and approached. It was already getting late in the day, but they could clearly see from their vantage point in the more densely vegetated hills away from the fort.

Miguel was the one to spot that the bandit lookouts manning the three 20' tall watchtowers didn't keep a very good watch, hardly bothering to stray their gaze from the main path to the north. As he was pointing this out, Frodrick's keen sense for earthwork noticed something else very interesting.

To the southeast of the fort there was a sunken patch of ground. Unless his years of dwarven expertise living around subterranean dwellings mislead him, this sunken section of earth was an old, forgotten trapdoor, now covered by a layer of dirt that couldn't completely obscure the area's former purpose.

Frodrick 34/34 –
Jargon 19/19 –
Giles 29/29 – 20 bolts
Kyrie 34/34 –
Miguel 25/25 – 19 arrows
Zeran 27/27 – 30 bullets
Stefan 11/11 – 17 arrows
Uriel 13/13 –


Posted on 2014-08-03 at 19:00:51.

Shades331
RDI Fixture
Karma: 22/5
513 Posts


A portal?

Frodrick pointed out the potential entrance. "Anyone up for a little subterranean subterfuge?"


Posted on 2014-08-04 at 21:39:19.

Sibelius Eos Owm
A Midsummer Knight
Karma: 59/5
1376 Posts


There's a hummin' in the restless summer air...

11 Erastus
Stag Lord's Fort; Hex G5
Tuskwater

“One.” Miguel pointed at Kyrie.

“Two.” He pointed at Giles.

“Three.” He pointed at Zeran.

Each of the designated targets heard Miguel's voice twice as he pointed to them, ematating from the air just behind their left ear.

“The spell will pick up again once we get back in range.” Miguel said. Giles nodded, turning his mount, Jargon (stripped of her barding to avoid rousing suspicion), to the north. Zeran, riding Uriel, did the same. There were no more words to be had, no more time to waste. It was time to go.

Zeran and Giles rode away at a good clip, swinging wide around to the meet with the front path a little further down the hill. The rest, moving with their heads low, began trekking up the hill toward the fort's south side, where Frodrick's trapdoor lay.

(~1 min)
It was slow work for the trapdoor crew. They kept one eye always on the three watchtowers as they moved from monolithic kame to kame, using the boulders to cover their approach across the otherwise open hillside.

Zeran and Giles paused as they intersected the end of the path that wound up to the fort. Giles whispered a chanting spell to himself, and before Zeran's eyes his form blurred and shrunk until he was covered by the visage of the bandit woman whose cloak he wore. His sword and chain shirt now appeared to be a short sword and leather armour, and on the whole he was almost a foot shorter.

Meanwhile, Zeran tucked his pistol in under his cloak, carefully concealed and out of the way of any casual observers. With the final touches on their disguises finished, they spurred their mounts on toward the entrance of the Stag Lord's fort.

(~1.5min)
“Look alive, boys, we have visitors.”

Miguel froze on the spot, halfway between two boulders, completely out in the open. The guards on the top of the tower stood up straight and grabbed their longbows—all facing the front of the fort. Giles and Zeran were still too far away to be picked up by his spell, but he could assume from here that they had reached the front already.

The two 'bandits' rode up to the gate. The guard in the foremost tower called out to them in a soft-spoken voice. “Hullo, who might I ask goes there?”

Zeran sat up straight on his faded black gelding, making sure the silver stag amulet that was part of his disguise was clearly visible. “By the bloody bones of St. Gilmorg, who wants to know?”

“Ah, well, well, that's an old password, now isn't it? What, may I ask, is your business in the Stag Lord's fort today?” The guard smiled passively. He seemed calm to the point of boredom.

Zeran reached into his saddlebag and drew the re-polished wooden case of herbal liquor part ways out. “We've brought some booze for the Stag Lord.”
Bluff: 7 + 11 = 18
The bandit raised an eyebrow. “Well, that is good news. The Stag Lord was ever so put out when his last shipment never came in. We've had to make do with the cheap stuff for a while now.” He turned to the fort below him, “Open the door, boys, these folk have liquor for the Stag Lord.”

As the large wooden gates were opening for the two disguised 'bandits', the trapdoor party were a little over halfway up the hill. The other two bandits on watch seemed to lose interest shortly after the talking began and went back to their usual patterns.

“Did you say something, Frodrick?” Stefan turned back to the dwarf. The four of them were ducking behind a kame, Frodrick watching for the next opportunity to move. The old dwarf turned back to his squire. He heard it too. It was like a grunt or a grumble, or...

The sound came again, echoed from all around them, quietly.

The ground between Frodrick and Stefan erupted. The torso of a half-rotted ancient pale corpse emerged from the spot, caked with dirt, crawling out of the ground. Around them three more zombies did the same, each emerging next to someone.

Frodrick 34/34 –
Jargon 19/19 –
Giles 29/29 – Disguise Self (~0.5min/30), 20 bolts
Kyrie 34/34 –
Miguel 25/25 – Message (~1.5min/30), 19 arrows
Zeran 27/27 – Disguised, Pistol Concealed, 30 bullets
Stefan 11/11 – 20 arrows
Uriel 13/13 –
....
Zombies: Unquiet Dead x4

(Excavation Crew)
(A fight with the zombies now from this close will almost surely attract the attention of one of the guards. Zombies are notoriously slow-moving, so running toward the fort would quickly out-distance them, but could make the problem worse if they catch up before you uncover the trapdoor. Attacking while running seems to cover the best and worst of both options, but is a valid third option in its own.)

(Infiltration Crew)
(0.5-2min)
As the gates opened, a pair of bandits emerged to take their horses. Jargon and Uriel joined the two other horses already stationed at the fort in a small area under the watchtower above the gate.

The Stag Lord's fort looked like two different structures smashed together into one area. In the centre was a large, squarish ruin made of thick stone walls. It looked like it might have once had at least two floors, but now almost all of the second floor was reduced to a low wall in one corner, while the platform that made up the former floor remained to serve as a roof for only half of the first floor.

Around the central stone ruin were the wooden structures of the three guardtowers, as well as wooden walkways up to the second floor that connected between the towers, hanging 20' off the ground. The yard and palisade itself ran around the large stone ruin, with a 10-15' space between the structure and the walls.

The entrance to the stone ruin was little more than a wide space where presumably a proper door once existed, but had since disappeared. Just inside the entrance a wooden wall separated the left side from the right, with the half remaining roof provided by the second floor covering the right, while the left led to a steep set of wooden stairs up to the walkway behind the northeast guardtower.

It was from the right-hand, covered portion of the stone ruin that Akiros emerged, followed immediately by a massive barrel of a man wearing somekind of leather hood over most of his face, with a grim helmet made of bone, resembling the skull of a stag with impressive antlers and—strangely—long tusks.

With the confident swagger of one who is already on the first step to drunk, the Stag Lord smiled through his thick beard, stepped forward, and took the case of liquor for Zeran. Save for a cloak, the Stag Lord's chest was bare, showing off an impressive array of disfiguring scars.

He turned to his lieutenant and second-in-command. “Akiros, pay these fine soldiers a bonus. Twenty crowns should be reward enough.”

“Yes, my liege.” Akiros bowed just slightly, but could not keep the faint disdain entirely from his face as he caught an involuntary waft of his master's breath. If the Stag Lord noticed, he said nothing, merely laughing. “Hah, 'liege'. That's why I like you, Akiros.” He swaggered away back into the stone ruin.

Akiros paid Zeran and Giles their ten gold each, his mind clearly occupied with his own thoughts. “You may stay the night in the fort if you wish. You'll have to bring your own bedroll, of course.”

Akrios and the two bandits also disappeared back under the covered half of the stone ruin.

(You now have more or less free access to the fort, though I will give you a heads up if you're beginning to stray into suspicious activity. The whole scene between successfully bluffing the guard and the Stag Lord's departure happens more or less fluidly, so I wasn't worried about stopping to get reactions. All the same, if there was something you wanted to say/do during that time, you can still act if you wish, though whatever you do it may be wise to keep up with the 'flow'.)

(Just to cover those areas once again, as you will see on the map below, from where you are in the Yard inside the palisade you can immediately see the NE Watch Tower, the Central Ruin (covered room) where all currently seen bandits except those on watch have returned to, the Walkway that goes between the NE Watchtower and the Central Ruin (2F), and the Central Ruin (uncovered) that contains stairs up to the walkway. You know there are two more watchtowers, but from here you don't see any way up to them (though the map here clearly shows that there is another staircase around back))

Stag Lord's Fort Map (specifically detailing the upper levels, thus the towers and walkways are plainly visible, as well as the second floor of the stone ruin which makes the 'roof' of the ground floor, but none of the inner rooms): ~here~

(Bandit Tracker - there are at least 5 rank-and-file bandits in the fort that you know of, not counting the lieutenants and their lord)
Bandit AM: NE Watchtower
Bandit FS: NW Watchtower
Bandit JS: SW Watchtower
Bandit CK: Opened gate, returned to central ruin
Bandit FN: Tied horses, returned to central ruin
Akiros: Paid loot, returned to central ruin
Dovan: ?
Auchs: ?
Stag Lord: Took booze, returned to central ruin


Posted on 2014-08-07 at 20:27:36.
Edited on 2014-08-09 at 08:09:58 by Sibelius Eos Owm

Sibelius Eos Owm
A Midsummer Knight
Karma: 59/5
1376 Posts


And we're slipping off the course we prepared,

11 Erastus
Stag Lord's Fort; Hex G5
Tuskwater

(Excavators)
Frodrick knew that they didn't have time for this. If they didn't get to the door and uncover it, they would be climbing the walls instead, and Frodrick had no love for the sport. He ducked his head and hustled out of there before the zombie had a chance to keep up with him.

Kyrie, rather than follow him immediately, paused. If she could distract the zombies, the others would have plenty of time to get moving. She turned to the zombie standing in front of Stefan. Instead of winding back her shovel like she had so many times, she drew it back as if to drive it into the ground, but then drove it into the zombie's torso, blade-first (-7dmg Ste-Zombie Bloodied). Dark red blood oozed from the wide abdominal wound.

Without missing a beat, Kyrie pulled her shovel back and struck again a different zombie turned its back to her to chase Frodrick (-7dmg Fro-Zombie Bloodied). It shuffled at a steady walk, seemingly oblivious to the bloody gash on its back.

The first zombie she wounded paid her no attention either, raising its stiff arms to club Stefan. The boy was too slow to react. He pulled away at only the last minute, taking a heavy glancing blow backed by the inhuman strength of the undead (-6dmg Stefan 5/11).

The only zombie that gave Kyrie any of its attention was the one that popped up directly next to her. In turn, she barely acknowledged it's clumsy attempt to strike her. Miguel, though, was having a harder time. He barely avoided the brunt of a powerful punch to his gut, losing some of the wind in his lungs (-7dmg Miguel).

Miguel had every intention of following Frodrick's lead, but first he thought maybe he could do something to clear his way. Charging his sword with arcane energy, Miguel spun his sword around and swung at the zombie that had punched him. The mindless shambling corpse did not register the arc of Miguel's blade quickly enough to know to duck. With a single chop, Miguel severed its head clean off from its neck, dissipating the necromancy keeping it moving (-16dmg *crit* Mig-Zombie Destroyed).

Miguel turned as the corpse fell to its knees, mindful of the goal. He ran out from the other side of the boulder, chasing after Frodrick and the trapdoor. Stefan's zombie diverted its attention long enough to take a swing at him, but Miguel was on his toes now.

Seeing Miguel run and not one eager to stay in the presence of the dead much longer than he had to, Stefan beat a hasty retreat after the bard, easily catching up as he devoted his attention to putting one leg in front of the other.

Frodrick 34/34 –
Jargon 19/19 –
Giles 29/29 – Disguise Self, 20 bolts
Kyrie 34/34 –
Miguel 18/25 – Message, 19 arrows
Zeran 27/27 – Disguised, Pistol Concealed, 30 bullets
Stefan 5/11 – 20 arrows
Uriel 13/13 –
...
Fro-Zombie: Injured, Bloodied
Kyr-Zombie: Uninjured
Mig-Zombie: Destroyed
Ste-Zombie: Injured, Bloodied

Frodrick's stubby legs pumped almost 200lbs of dwarf and steel toward the depression. From here he could clearly see that the site of the trapdoor was conveniently shielded from all three guardposts by its proximity to the pallisade. If they could make it that far without attracting any notice, they would have at least that much going for them.

Kyrie glanced at the two zombies left behind with her. Stefan was much too far away to be in any real immediate danger from the one. Besides, she wasn't finished with something.

The paladin extracted herself from the two, following after the zombie that she smote in the back. As she passed she grabbed its attention, leaving herself wide open, to attack, but rolling off it's expected swing all the same.

The zombie attacking her, still neglected and ignored, started to shuffle slowly after her while she concentrated on the forward troops. The zombie chasing Frodrick quickly went back to ignoring her in its slow but steady pursuit of the dwarf, provoking a jab from her shovel as it passed, which it narrowly dodged. It even walked passed Stefan, who lacked any means to take advantage of the moment. The last zombie, still behind the rock, took the long way around the boulder as it tried to follow Stefan's trail from where it had last seen him.

Miguel saw the zombie come up behind him and prepared to avoid its attack, but it walked blindly past him as if he wasn't there. Happily taking the opportunity, Miguel struck it down, too, thrusting his blade into rotting gut (-8dmg Ste-Z Destroyed).

With nothing else blocking his way, Miguel sprinted for the trapdoor. Unencumbered by heavy armour, he covered enough ground to catch up to Frodrick in a few moments, passing him and coming close to the target patch of ground.

“Hey! Guys! Some idiots got caught by the zombies!”

At least it was better than 'hey, look, it's those people the Stag Lord wants to kill, raise the alarm'.

The guard at the southwest tower laughed and lifted his bow. “You wanna bet I can hit one from here?” He loosed the arrow before anyone could answer. The arrow fell several feet wide of Frodrick, but the bandit on watch didn't seem to be worried about this. “Hah!”

Stefan drew an arrow. He strafed around the zombie chasing Frodrick, getting in front of it. He intended to finish it off before it ever had a chance to get close enough. He positioned himself directly between Frodrick and it, then loosed the arrow. At this close range it was a barrel shoot, and the arrow buried deep into the zombie's chest, probably puncturing a decayed lower lung.

The zombie didn't even seem to notice the arrow at all (-1dmg Fro-Z).

Frodrick 34/34 –
Jargon 19/19 –
Giles 29/29 – Disguise Self, 20 bolts
Kyrie 34/34 –
Miguel 18/25 – Message, 19 arrows
Zeran 27/27 – Disguised, Pistol Concealed, 30 bullets
Stefan 5/11 – 19 arrows
Uriel 13/13 –
..
Fro-Zombie: Badly Wounded, Bloodied
Kyr-Zombie: Uninjured
Ste-Zombie: Destroyed

Frodrick hustled to the spot. He took his axe and started to hack into the dirt, loosening it up to clear faster. Now would be a really bad time to be wrong.

“Hey, where'd he go?” The bandit jeered.

“Bah, nevermind him, Jex you idiot. Didn't you see what those two brought? Do you want to end up like Cragger when your foolin' around gets the Stag Lord on our asses?” the bandit from the northwest watchtower attached via walkway to 'Jex's own tower called back.

“Let the zombies take care of 'em and then loot the bodies after.”

Kyrie chased after the zombie while her own dedicated attacker struggled to keep up. She rammed her shovel into its back. It was only a superficial cut compared to the first, but all the same the dark forces animating it fled the broken corpse (-4dmg Fro-Z Destroyed).

Behind her she found that 'her' zombie had finally caught up with her, but its reactions were so slow it merely stood there, not attacking as it processed the fact of its target coming within reach.

Stefan drew another arrow from his quiver and took aim. There was no clean shot with it standing beside Kyrie, though, and besides, he had seen already how effective his arrows were against it. He debated for a second switching to his axe and running in, but he remembered that his efforts would be better served getting them underground.

Miguel caught up with Frodrick, setting down his sword to start pulling away the dirt Frodrick was already beginning to loosen. Stefan was hardly a moment behind him, now within a handful of yards of the two.

The bandit, 'Jex' was put out. He took a last look at the group, then averted his eyes. Killing was less fun if you couldn't brag about your lucky shots.

Frodrick 34/34 – I am a dwarf and I'm diggin a hole.
Jargon 19/19 –
Giles 29/29 – Disguise Self, 20 bolts
Kyrie 34/34 –
Miguel 18/25 – Message, Diggy-diggy Hole, 19 arrows
Zeran 27/27 – Disguised, Pistol Concealed, 30 bullets
Stefan 5/11 – 19 arrows
Uriel 13/13 –
.
Fro-Zombie: Destroyed
Kyr-Zombie: Uninjured

Kyrie turned to face the last zombie. “You wanted me? Here!” She rammed the point of her shovel into its gut, slicing through soft belly flesh. Miguel heard her words faintly by his ear as his spell picked up her voice.

If it wasn't a mindless corpse reanimated by dark forces, Kyrie would swear the thing was disappointed that it had chased her all that way only to have its intestines perforated (-11dmg Kyr-Z Near Death, Bloodied). Thick, dead blood oozed down its legs as it raised its arms, but Kyrie was already turning to hustle to the diggers.

Kyrie knew she was taking a risk by turning to run, but she also knew she could more than handle it. It swung its stiff-club like arms down, glancing off the spot between her shoulders as she fled. It hurt, but it would have hurt a lot more if it had connected directly (-8dmg Kyrie).

The zombie reverted to chase mode automatically, slowly walking up behind her again, but once again failing to react quickly enough to strike once it caught up.

Stefan joined the others, using his axe to loosen more dirt and push it away.

Kyrie turned to finish off the last zombie and join the rest, hoping the guards didn't notice that their confidence in the undead was misplaced. What she saw instead was four more mounds, this time all forming directly around her. The ground erupted with four more (relatively) fresh zombies, bursting from the hillside and crawling to their feet.

Kyrie reacted without pausing to think and stuck her blade into one as it crawled out (-7dmg Zombie'C Bloodied).

Frodrick 34/34 – Born underground, suckled from a teat of stone
Jargon 19/19 –
Giles 29/29 – Disguise Self, 20 bolts
Kyrie 26/34 –
Miguel 18/25 – Message, Diggin' a Hole, 19 arrows
Zeran 27/27 – Disguised, Pistol Concealed, 30 bullets
Stefan 5/11 – Diggy-Diggy-Hole, 19 arrows
Uriel 13/13 –

Kyr-Zombie: Near Death, Bloodied
Zombie' A: Uninjured
Zombie' B: Uninjured
Zombie' C: Injured, Bloodied
Zombie' D: Uninjured

(Phew, that was quite some fun, then wasn't it? I hope I don't step on toes with Frodrick's actions, but it seemed like he was determined and committed, which makes sense since he has a goal to reach and he knows his team is more than enough to keep up with him. Now that there are more zombies I wanted to pause to see who would take a gander.)

(By the way, as a quirk of how the zombies appear, despite their now being 5 and more than enough to flank twice over, only two zombies emerged in such a way as to be in a flanking position, and there is actually a perfectly clear avenue of escape if Kyrie withdraws.)

(Bonus points btw to anyone who recognizes the song lyrics in the title of the last two posts. Bonus bonus points for anyone spotting my handy zombie emergence timer in the post body.)


Posted on 2014-08-09 at 08:09:21.

Sibelius Eos Owm
A Midsummer Knight
Karma: 59/5
1376 Posts


'Cause in all chaos there is calculation

11 Erastus
Stag Lord's Fort; Hex G5
Tuskwater

As stubborn as she was, Kyrie knew when it was time to regroup. “Wow, I'm popular. Sorry, gotta go.” She turned and fled before she had a chance to get completely surrounded. She covered about half of the distance between her and the trap door as the zombies came shuffling after her.

Miguel looked up as he heard Kyrie's voice in his ear. There were a lot more zombies out there than the last time he looked. He took up his sword and ran out to meet her, taking up position behind her to the side. He charged his sword with energy and waited for the opportunity to strike.

Encumbered by her armour, Kyrie only barely outdistanced most of the pack. The closest raised it's arms over its head as it stumbled the last few steps, swinging to hit her. The farm paladin dodged the blow entirely as she turned back to it.

Frodrick 34/34 –
Jargon 19/19 –
Giles 29/29 – Disguise Self, 20 bolts
Kyrie 26/34 –
Miguel 18/25 – Message, 19 arrows
Zeran 27/27 – Disguised, Pistol Concealed, 30 bullets
Stefan 5/11 – Diggy-Diggy-Hole, 19 arrows
Uriel 13/13 –
....
Kyr-Zombie: Near Death, Bloodied
Zombie' A: Uninjured, Charge (-2AC)
Zombie' B: Uninjured
Zombie' C: Injured, Bloodied
Zombie' D: Uninjured

(It only looks like Miguel spontaneously gained a higher initiative than the zombies because the only zombie from the first group only walked forward, and didn't do anything significant, while the new four zombies got a much lower initiative and so didn't act until after him.)

Kyrie took another step back. Now that she was this close to the door, there were better uses for her shovel. With a heave she pitched her weapon two-handed toward Frodrick. It landed with a clatter immediately next to him, more or less exactly where she aimed.

Meanwhile the rest of the zombies continued to close in. The one, badly wounded zombie that had been chasing her from the beginning lifted its arms and charged in to meet her, but immediately found it cut down by Miguel's sword (-11dmg Kyr-Z Destroyed).

The mindless dead shuffled after Kyrie. The one that had charged at her last time staggered two steps in and clubbed at her, which she ducked easier than last time. Another walked passed her, looking for its own space to fight. She curled a mailed fist and punched it once, for good measure, but it didn't react to the negligible damage (-0dmg Zombie' B)

Miguel was caught off-guard as another came stumbling after him, throwing a punch that almost knocked him over to dodge it (-5dmg Miguel, 13/25).

Stefan turned back and picked up the shovel. He stopped, looking at the layer of zombie ichor that coated the blade, then shrugged and drove it into the ground. A hard 'thunk' reported to him that something large and solid blocked the blade only a few inches under the surface.

Frodrick 34/34 –
Jargon 19/19 –
Giles 29/29 – Disguise Self, 20 bolts
Kyrie 26/34 –
Miguel 13/25 – Message, 19 arrows
Zeran 27/27 – Disguised, Pistol Concealed, 30 bullets
Stefan 5/11 – Diggy-Diggy-Hole, 19 arrows
Uriel 13/13 –
...
Kyr-Zombie: Destroyed
Zombie' A: Uninjured,
Zombie' B: Uninjured
Zombie' C: Injured, Bloodied
Zombie' D: Uninjured, Charge

With the combined efforts of the shovel in Stefan's hands and Frodrick's dwarven insight, the two caught sight of the thick stone lid of the ancient trap door.

Kyrie and Miguel meanwhile continued to hold off any would-be distractions. Kyrie drew her sickle side-arm and plunged it ferociously into the chest of one of the zombies, tearing a chunk of rotting ribcage out as she pulled down and out (-8dmg *crit* Zombie'C Destroyed). It collapsed backwards as Miguel adopted his defensive stance.

Miguel's blade hacked deep into the zombie's unarmoured body next to him (-11dmg Zombie'D Near Death), almost finishing it off. The three remaining zombies continued to beat down on their targets with unimaginative persistence. Kyrie's armour took the force out of one attack while she turned to avoid another, and Miguel was keeping on his toes.

Frodrick 34/34 –
Jargon 19/19 –
Giles 29/29 – Disguise Self, 20 bolts
Kyrie 26/34 –
Miguel 13/25 – Message, Combat Expertise, 19 arrows
Zeran 27/27 – Disguised, Pistol Concealed, 30 bullets
Stefan 5/11 – Diggy-Diggy-Hole, 19 arrows
Uriel 13/13 –
..
Zombie' A: Uninjured,
Zombie' B: Uninjured
Zombie' C: Destroyed
Zombie' D: Near Death, Bloodied

If the bandit 'Jex' had turned back to watch, he would see Kyrie and Miguel holding their own, slowly cutting down the zombies as they retreated, step by step, toward the wall, where he could not see Frodrick and Stefan steadily uncovering the trapdoor.

Kyrie bloodied another farm implement on the ichor of the living dead (-5dmg Zombie'B Bloodied) as Miguel finished off another (-10dmg Zombie'D Destroyed). With nothing else immediately in his field of view, Miguel took advantage of the moment to get around to Kyrie's other side as the two zombies left staggered after her, hammering against the shield she readied.

Frodrick 34/34 –
Jargon 19/19 –
Giles 29/29 – Disguise Self, 20 bolts
Kyrie 26/34 –
Miguel 13/25 – Message, Combat Expertise, 19 arrows
Zeran 27/27 – Disguised, Pistol Concealed, 30 bullets
Stefan 5/11 – Diggy-Diggy-Hole, 19 arrows
Uriel 13/13 –
.
Zombie' A: Uninjured,
Zombie' B: Injured, Bloodied
Zombie' D: Destroyed

Mindful of what happened the last time she thought she was done with the undead assailants, Kyrie was doubly motivated to finish them quickly and get to cover. With her shield she was fully prepared to last out this fight as long as necessary, but she would need to be mindful of her escape avenue for when the passage was clear.

Though Miguel's spell could transfer their words across great distances to each other, Kyrie and Miguel acted together as if on unspoken signal. Miguel had her zombie under control, so she switched targets, ripping her sickle into the side of its neck, all but decapitating it as she cut open the vulnerable flesh (-12dmg *crit* Zombie'A Destroyed).

Miguel spun his sword in his hands, keeping up the energy flowing through it and keeping himself moving. On his openning he struck for its mid section, hoping to sever enough abdominal muscle for it to lose its mobility, but instead he nearly separated its torso in two down the middle, leaving the carcass wide open as it fell (-15dmg *crit* Zombie'B Destroyed).

Following Kyrie's suit, he stepped back and waited for further zombies to erupt from the ground around them. After a moment they allowed themselves to relax. Whatever force had caused the zombies to erupt from the hillside to chase them, and then summoned more around Kyrie as the others hid, did not make a repeat attempt at either her or them.

Frodrick 34/34 –
Jargon 19/19 –
Giles 29/29 – Disguise Self, 20 bolts
Kyrie 26/34 –
Miguel 13/25 – Message, Combat Expertise, 19 arrows
Zeran 27/27 – Disguised, Pistol Concealed, 30 bullets
Stefan 5/11 – Diggy-Diggy-Hole, 19 arrows
Uriel 13/13 –
.
Zombie' A: Destroyed
Zombie' B: Destroyed

(~2.5 minutes since beginning Miguel's message spell)



Posted on 2014-08-10 at 22:02:39.

Sibelius Eos Owm
A Midsummer Knight
Karma: 59/5
1376 Posts


Dropping glasses just to hear them break...

11 Erastus
Stag Lord's Fort; Hex G5
Tuskwater

After the two infiltrators were left standing in the small yard alone, Giles doubled back to the shelter under which the horses were tied, below the northeast guard post. He leaned casually against the post, whispering quietly to himself as if talking to his horse.

Miguel did not respond right away. There was a moment, then suddenly Miguel's voice manifested in the air next to his ear. Zeran, who was keeping a lookout, listened in through his own connection. The bard was out of breath.

“We ran into a minor setback, but we have made it to the eergh, the trapdoor. Frodrick and Stefan have just about got it uncovered. It'll be another few minutes before we're in.” (+11hp Miguel 24/25)

“Got it. We are inside. We'll keep our heads down until you get here.” Giles responded. To Zeran he said, “I'm going in. You coming?”

“Naw, I figure I'll pop upstairs and see if our bored friend knows anything at all.” Zeran winked and thumbed up the tower.

(Zeran)
The pirate gunslinger took the steep stairs up to the walkways. They creaked under his boots like an old, worn bed. It was a good thing he wasn't trying to sneak up them, he figured. He arrived on a platform just behind the guardpost. The man glanced at him. Zeran took a casual sweep of the upper levels. Across a catwalk he spied the massive brute of a lieutenant, 'Auchs', sitting on the edge of the crumbled stone roof.

“Hey, how's the watch?” He stretched out as if he had just come in from a long ride, walking up beside the guard. “Get much traffic around here?”

The bandit chuckled softly. “Traffic? The hell would you want to know that for?”

Without missing a beat, Zeran replied. “To know what kind of marks I have a choice of. Help supplment the income an' all that, you know? Just takes a few carefully placed traps and you can spook most folk into giving you what you want.”

“Mm, I know. Either way there in't nobody who knows the region who's stupid enough to cross the Stag Lord's domain. Now as for yourself, I would give you a little advice. Don't go thinking that just because the Stag Lord is happy with your offering it means you get to join us in the fort. Are you new or something?” The watchman smiled, but his eyes swept over Zeran coldly.

Danger. “No, which is why I was asking. I'm only here for the night gotta go start somewhere after all, man needs money for whores and booze after all.”

“Well, you're not gonna find much for pickings around here, anyway.” The man eased up the intensity of his stare, returning his attention to the empty hills outside of the fort. “Did you have a point comin' up here? I'm on watch—not that I mind a little distraction.”

“You looked bored, and frankly I'm not one for settling down for the night right now anyways. Take it you don't see a lot of action around here. What do you usually see though when you're up here?” Zeran tried once more to cajole a slip of information out of him.

When the man smiled, cold and condescending, he knew he'd slipped up. “Well, I figure that's none of your damn business. If you're looking for something to do why don't you go bother someone else with your nosey questions.” Through the whole conversation the bandit's voice never raised above a soft-spoken level, but his body language communicated he clearly wasn't going to be cooperative.

Zeran wanted to give this too-calm watch something to shake him up, rattle his cage a little, but he relented. It would do no good for his mission if he started giving the mooks a reason to hate him.

He left the bandit's post, his eyes tracking back automatically to Auchs. The big man seemed to be playing with two wooden figurines. What the hell, he decided. Let's say 'hi'. He set off across the walkway to the stone roof.

(Giles)
Giles Alexandria Nox found himself in a rather drafty room that took up half the size of the large stone ruin. Judging by the crates and barrels crammed into the corners, the hammocks strung from wooden posts for sleeping provisions, and the dirty bowls and utensils set out across the rickety, makeshift furniture that this was the Stag bandits' common room.

The walls were covered in badly chipping ancient plaster that showed more of the stonework construction than its original design, which seemed to be some kind of obscure, erratic scribbles and pictographs. Almost definitely not made by the bandits themselves.

Three bandits, including the one who had opened the gate for he and Zeran, and two others, a greasy-looking man and a red-haired woman sat at one table, cards laid out in front of them, arguing in hushed voices. Not far from them at another table was the fat man who took the horses. He tore eagerly into what looked like the better part of an entire roast turkey. Finally, easy to miss at first, the bandit lieutenant Dovan sat on a chair in the corner just to his right, quitely sharpening a collection of knives.

He didn't see either Akiros or the Stag Lord himself, but the far end of the room led out to another, wood-walled room. To his right on the west wall was another opening, this one covered by a wide iron grate held up by a rope. As Giles cross the room to the card-playing bandits he glanced inside.

Inside a fair sized room of roughly piled stonework was a large owlbear, resting with half-lidded eyes. The unusual beast followed him lazily with its eyes as he passed. That could be bad news later.

“Mind if I join you lot for cards?”

Somewhere, likely crawling down a narrow shaft into the earth, Miguel was hearing an unfamiliar voice magically transported to his ear. It was husky and almost feminine, but had the same sort of drawl as Giles. He realized after a second what he was listening to.

The red-haired woman spoke for the group. “Sure, just as long as you don't try to twist the rules like Jeb here. Pull up a chair and keep your voice down.”

Giles fetched 'herself' a chair. The woman pointed to the men across the table, the dullard who looked like he had half his sense literally beaten out of him, and the greasy man who was taking a very keen eyefull of Giles' illusory features as he sat down. “Craggar, Jeb,” she said, “and Topper,” she pointed to herself.

“Alex,” Giles responded.

After a few hands Giles had a fair grasp of the somewhat complex rules, as well as on his gaming companions. Craggar, true to his appearance, played with little or no strategy, while Jeb (or 'Dirty Jeb' as the greasy man confided, explaining that the moniker came from his of fighting with clever but dirty little tricks—though judging by the way Topper rolled her eyes, combined with the peculiar odour coming off the man, Giles suspected there was another reason) was constantly attempting to finagle the rules according to his needs.

Topper, meanwhile, was a margin more sensible than either of her companions. By the time Miguel's voice came to his ear, explaining that they were now under a second stone trapdoor, probably somewhere inside the fort, she was responding favourably to 'Alex's advances. At first she was surprised and confused, but seemed to take a liking to the attention it warranted her.

(Zeran)
In the corner of the roof, where the old walls of the second floor still stood there was a pile of hay with a bedroll on it, surrounded by more wooden figures. As soon as Zeran stepped onto the crumbling, but sturdy, stone overhand, he felt Auchs' eyes on him. The big man was watching him from the far edge out of the corner of his eye, pretending as if he hadn't noticed, but doing a patently terrible job of subtlety.

“Hello, there.” Zeran called from a safe distance. From here he could see the figures around the impromptu bed were miniature knights and dragons made of wood. The tremendous man held one of each with him.

“Hello.” Auchs said. “What you want?”

“You looked like you were a bit lonely over here, big guy. Mind if I just talk with you for a bit?”

Auchs regarded Zeran with a long suspicious 'Mmmmmmmm,' then said, “okay.” He then returned to playing with his toys. The knight figurine was smashing the dragon, which squealed pitious protests and whimpers, all supplied by the man himself.

“Nice knight and dragon you got there. My name is Zeran. May I have yours?”

Auchs disregarded the last comment. “Knights and Dragons is the best. The knights is all killing the dragons and the dragons is all killing the knights, and they don't like to get hurt, but when they hurt the others and make them pay afterward and that's good,” he rambled off in one breath.

He turned to Zeran, “I'm Ox. It's because I'm big and strong like oxes. My friend Dovan showed me how to spell it, too. It's A, U... uh.... C..... H....... uh—S! Auchs.”

Auchs returned to to focus his attention on his toys.

“So tell me, Auchs, who winds in the end? Who are the good guys and who are the bad guys.?”

“Well, sometimes the dragons win, and then they're the good guys, and then sometimes the knights win, and they're the good guys. Then next time they change.” Auchs explained.

“I see.” Zeran paused for a moment. Miguel's voice started up in his ear. He worried for a moment that Auchs might hear, but the big man didn't seem to notice the lapse in conversation at all. The others were under the fort.

“You seem like a nice enough fellow, Auchs. Who helped you find the Stag Lord?”

“My friend, Dovan. Dovan is my friend. He knows how to make the bad guys scream real loud. He showed me, but I'm not as good as him yet. He showed me how to spell my name.”

(Excavation Crew)
(~7min)
Once the trapdoor was fully uncovered, it creaked open on ancient hinges. Working carefully and slowly they managed to avoid attracting any more attention to themselves as they slipped into the narrow shaft (after Kyrie had surprised Miguel with a touch of her healing powers).

Once the door was closed behind them and they were sealed in the cramped, pitch black tunnel, Miguel called forth a glimmer of light into Kyrie's acorn. The tunnel under the fort was barely 5' wide, supported by ancient timbers. It led several yards to another steep shaft ending in a second stone door, identical to the first.

Here the crew paused, reporting in their status to Giles and Zeran.

(Zeran)
"Dovan, eh? Nice name."

Zeran took a moment to ask one more question of the lieutenant before he responded to Miguel.

"Auchs, on my way here with my own friend we came across the remains of one of those lizard folks, a kobold I think. It looked like it had been hurt really really bad before it died. Do you happen to know who did that? I only ask because I figure those cowards at the big fort thing wouldn't do something like that."

"Eeeeuuuhhhhh...." Auchs looked deep in concentration, trying as hard as he could to remember. "I dunno," he admitted at last.

"Okay, then, I'll just be on my way."

Auchs didn't respond, returning the entirety of his attention to voice acting the brave knight who was punishing the bad dragon.

Zeran didn't bother to glance back at the guard he questioned earlier as he went down the steep wooden stairs. At the bottom he ducked into the corner, out of sight.

"Miguel, it's Zeran. You guys just about ready? What's the plan?"

Frodrick 34/34 –
Jargon 19/19 –
Giles 29/29 – Disguise Self, 20 bolts
Kyrie 26/34 –
Miguel 24/25 – Message, 19 arrows
Zeran 27/27 – Disguised, Pistol Concealed, 30 bullets
Stefan 5/11 – 19 arrows
Uriel 13/13 –

Map of the Common Room and Owlbear Pen: ~here~
Bandit Tracker:
Bandit AM: NE Watchtower
Bandit FS: NW Watchtower
Bandit JS: SW Watchtower
Craggar: Common Room
Fat Bandit: Common Room
Topper: Common Room
Dirty Jeb: Common Room
Dovan: Common Room
Auchs: 2F/Roof
Akiros: ???
Stag Lord: ???


Posted on 2014-08-13 at 07:04:50.
Edited on 2014-08-14 at 05:12:00 by Sibelius Eos Owm

Sibelius Eos Owm
A Midsummer Knight
Karma: 59/5
1376 Posts


And the cry goes out

11 Erastus
Stag Lord's Fort; Hex G5
Tuskwater

Zeran decided to start his search by poking around to check on Giles. He went into the large common room, spotting Giles' illusion playing cards among a few others at the back. He was planning just to idle around the area and take a quick peek, but something else interrupted him.

“Why the hell is this here?”

“What is it?” Miguel's voice in micro in his ear.

Zeran adapted on the fly. “What's an owlbear doing locked up in here?”

“An owlbear?” Miguel asked, “But they're supposed to be untameable. They're too aggressive. Some say their twisted existence drives them insane.”

Zeran was not listening to the voice in his ear, though.

“Oh, that's Beaky.” The fat bandit stopped tearing into his roast bird long enough to swallow and speak. “We took it down a couple weeks ago, but the Stag Lord had us haul it back here instead.f

Zeran was bewildered. “Why?”

The red-head next to Giles looked up from her cards. “He seems to have taken a liking to the beast. Maybe it's just the poetic spirit in 'im.You know, the whole man and beast thing, one-ness with the wilderness.”

“Yeah,” Dirty Jeb added, “or maybe he's jsut happy to 've found a beast that has a stranger head than he does!” The others laughed even as the shushed him.

“More to the point,” said Topper, “the Stag Lord said so, so we did so.”

Zeran scratched his chin. “You know I didn't expect such a poetic mind to be comin' from a bandit. For my part, I haven't met many smart enough to put together such a thought.”

“Ol' Topper here was a street poet back in Pitax,” Jeb offered. “A piss-poor one, too, I'll bet, or else how'd she end up here with us?”

The red-head gave Jeb a nasty look. “I'll have you know that verse has nothing to do with intelligence, and everything to do with having the right poetic spirit.” She ended looking at Zeran.

The pirate didn't spot any trapdoors in the hard packed earth of the common room. “Either way, if you coulld point me the way, where do you lot keep the outhouse around here? I gotta go drain the lizard.”

“There's your piss pot, there.” Jeb pointed out a chamberpot in the corner. “Just a s long as you don't do it in here, no one cares where ya go.”

Zeran nodded at the greasy looking man. “Thanks.” He glanced at Topper, tipping an invisible hat to her, his own distinctive hat left behind at the cart. “Well, pleasure to meet you, miss. Hopefully we can talk a little more in a bit.”

“Unless that 'lizard' of yours is just a metaphor, I might not want to count on it if I were you.” She shot a speculative glance up and down.his body.

Zeran grabbed the chamberpot with a grin and popped out the door. With the pot in hand nobody so much as glanced at him to keep tabs on what he was up to. He freely wandered around the inner perimeter of the palisade, taking the east side of the stone ruin around to second set of stairs leading up to the other walkway.

Between the stone ruin and the wooden structure under the south walkway, this was probably the best spot in the fort not to be seen by any of the watchtowers. Zeran poked his head around for a couple moments, but didn't see anything like the description of the trapdoor Miguel had given him.

After that, he set the chamberpot on the ground. He wasn't just using it as a cover. He had real business to attend to.

As he was finishing up, Zeran noticed a faint crease in the ground, next to his left foot. Once he redid his belt, Zeran took a closer inspection—there was a square in the dirt, virtually indistinguishable from the hard packed earth but this was merely a dusty cover over top of a stone slab.

It lay directly under the stairs at the back of the fort. It was easy to see how it might have been missed all this time, especially if the outside door was covered over.

“Hey, Miguel, I think I've found you. It's in a good position, if you're quiet, no one should see you come up. There are four bandits plus Dovan in the common room. The Stag Lord's chambers should be back that way, too. I'm going to head back.”

Frodrick 34/34 –
Jargon 19/19 –
Giles 29/29 – Disguise Self, 20 bolts
Kyrie 26/34 –
Miguel 24/25 – Message, 19 arrows
Zeran 27/27 – Disguised, Pistol Concealed, 30 bullets
Stefan 5/11 – 19 arrows
Uriel 13/13 –
(12 minutes since beginning Miguel's message spell)

(By the way, for those curious, Pitax is the capital city of a Kingdom of the same name. It is one of the myriad River Kingdoms, and actually shares a border with the Stolen Lands. It does not border the Greenbelt (i.e. -your- chartered section of the Stolen Lands) but it's pretty local.)

Bandit Tracker
AM: NE Watchtower
FS: NW Watchtower
Jex the Snitch: SW Watchtower
Craggar Kench: Common Room
Fat Norry: Common Room
Topper Red: Common Room
Dirty Jeb: Common Room
Auchs: Roof/2F
Dovan: Common Room
Akiros: ???
Stag Lord: ???


Posted on 2014-08-15 at 08:18:52.

Sibelius Eos Owm
A Midsummer Knight
Karma: 59/5
1376 Posts


You could try and take us, but we're the gladiators

11 Erastus
Stag Lord's Fort; Hex G5
Tuskwater

(~15 min)
Zeran casually passed under the watchtower on his way back, his belt done up but not completely tucked away. He stopped for just a moment, as if to tend to his saddlebags, and undid the knots that held Jargon and Uriel.

After that, he glanced around. The man with the beard in the northwest watch post wasn't paying attention to him. He grinned and slowly pulled the thunderstone from his pouch.

“Alright, we're all out.” Miguel's voice popped in his ear. He glanced back around the corner, spotting Miguel doing the same from the back corner.

“Let's get dangerous.” Zeran pitched the stone almost straight up, into the watch post above him. There was a half second pause, a confused “Uh?”, and finally an ear-shattering rumble from the watch post.

(Giles 'Alex')
Giles heard Miguel's signal. He mentally prepared to leap up with the rest of the bandits, maintaining the charade until the right moment. In the meantime, he moved once again to discretely avoid being touched by 'Dirty' Jeb. The man was growing overly fond with his persona, making obvious attempts to take hold of her arm. If he made solid contact with something that didn't feel like it looked, he would see the grim reality.

In the meantime, Topper was celebrating her latest hand by singing a poem quietly as she shuffled the deck.

“On yonder strand / In bridled land / A motley band / With vigour fanned / Across hill, lowland / With selfrighteous brand / Seeking brigand contra—”

KRAK-A-THOOM.
“—band.*”

Both tables leaped to their feet.

“Go see what the hell that was.” Dovan commanded.

The four bandits and Giles drew their swords and moved out. Giles let the others out ahead of him, quietly allowing himself to become the last in order.

(Zeran)
“What the hell was that?” the greasy bandit, Jeb, demanded of Zeran.

Zeran did his best to look confused and startled, the piss pot handing loose from one of his hands. “It came from up above.”

The four bandits looked up to where their watch man was clutching his ears and shouting curses. Miguel popped out of hiding. He sung a string of spell words. When the bandits looked back down, Zeran pulled out his pistol.

The bandits hesitated for a moment. The look on their faces was priceless. “The fort's under attack!”

Miguel finished his spell. From where he was, Giles recognised the faint pressure of a sleep enchantment wash over the four bandits in front of him, three of which immediately collapsed. Only 'Dirty' Jeb remained, standing in the front.

Zeran took a single up to him, oblivious to his lack of a team, and clubbed him with the butt of his gun (-7dmg Jeb Bloodied), knocking the greasy man over with the sudden force (Prone).

Giles turned to Dovan. The lean man had gotten up from his chair. He was observing the fight. “Well, that could be a problem.” Dovan turned to the rope tied to the peg next to his chair and gave it a sharp tug.

This was the rope that attached to and held up the large iron grate serving as the door to the owlbear's makeshift lair. With a metallic groan it fell away, coming to the ground with a tremendous clatter.

“If I were you, I wouldn't care to stay much longer.” He slipped past Giles so quickly the soldier barely had a chance to swing his veiled sword in his direction. Outside Zeran only saw Dovan appear for a moment before he turned into the other room and headed for the stairs upto the walk way. “Shoot the intruders, you idiots!” he told the bandits in the towers. It didn't seem to matter to him that one couldn't even hear the order.

Meanwhile Giles saw the massive owlbear lumber out of its cage, look around, and screech a terrible roar that sounded like nails being dragged across a chalkboard. It lumbered toward Giles before he could react and rose to its hind legs, standing over him.

The man grunted in frustration. He had hoped to prevent the lieutenant from any kind of shenanigans like that. He stepped back, willing the force of his judgement into a protective aura around him as he intoned a spell to enhance grant him success in combat.

Arrows rained down around the others outside as the bandits in the watch posts started firing. One appeared next to Zeran, poking out of the ground, while another glanced off the bottom corner of Frodrick's shield. The third watch-man also showed up in the northwest post to see what was going on.

Frodrick 34/34 –
Jargon 19/19 –
Giles 29/29 – Disguise Self, Protection (+1AC), Divine Favour (1/10) (+2attk/dmg), 20 bolts
Kyrie 26/34 –
Miguel 24/25 – Message, 19 arrows
Zeran 27/27 – (loaded), -1G, 30 bullets
Stefan 5/11 – 19 arrows
Uriel 13/13 –

AM: Uninjured, Deafened (1 hour)
FS: Uninjured
Jex: Uninjured
Craggar: Uninjured, Asleep (1/30)
Jeb: Badly Wounded, Bloodied, Prone
Norry: Uninjured, Asleep (1/30)
Topper: Uninjured, Asleep (1/30)

Beaky: Uninjured
Akiros: ???
Auchs: Uninjured
Dovan: Uninjured
Stag Lord: ???

(Anyone whose action I didn't explicitely state is probably shuffling around a bit to move into position, and catching up. The exception is Giles (if you are reading this before I doublechecked Giles' action), whose choice of action comes almost last in the round and so won't affect too much that happens after he acts, so once I get wind of that I'll add it.)

(Way to take the bandits by storm. This is far from over, but that basically half-eliminated the mook-level bandits in one round. Sure if this takes long enough they'll wake up again and still be at full health, but they're basically done until then and at that point they may actually prefer to surrender or run instead of fight)

(*except from poem by Stephen Parker)


Posted on 2014-08-19 at 08:51:05.
Edited on 2014-08-20 at 07:17:27 by Sibelius Eos Owm

   


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